We’re excited to have this guest post by Stephen Rodgers Counseling. If you’ve been interested in talk therapy but feel like most therapists are geared more towards women than men, you’re right. Fortunately, Rodgers Counseling is different and they may be your ticket! Stephen will explain in this post why his motto is “Get in the door” and what makes his practice unique and a better fit for many men than the average therapist. With that, I’ll let Stephen take it away!
These are the words we live by at Rodgers Counseling. This simple sentence has profound importance when it comes to men seeking therapy. For one, we know psychotherapy works, with little to no side effects (1). However, we also know there is a stigma for men seeking help with their mental wellness. This stigma negatively affects men and those that love them. When men step up to the plate or when their loved ones support them to get the help they need these men can re-engage in a meaningful healthy life. But first they must get in the door!
The research tells us that men seek out mental health treatment at a far lower rate than women. There may be reasons for this beyond the stigma of men asking for help or admitting they have a “mental health problem.” It might also be the way therapy looks, feels and is presented to men.
There are challenges for a guy to set up that first meeting with a unfamiliar therapist. Very often the men I work with tell me that before working with me they thought therapy was “all touchy feely.” I remember my first session with a 45 year old Vet who was married with two children. Clearly this guy is tough! He was also successful in most areas of his life. However, due to depression he didn’t feel successful.
At the end of our first session I checked in with him about our time together. After a short thoughtful pause he said, “You know, I didn’t want to come in today, but my wife made me. I thought we would be singing Kumbaya and lighting candles. But it’s not like that. I liked this.”
For many of us guys, including this Vet, the idea of talking about our deep dark feelings, lighting candles and singing songs just feels like another world. One that is scary and strange. But when a man is able to find the right therapist, he can discover that therapy does not need to be like this. Therapy can be two people sitting in a room together, talking plain, getting shit done. But first they just need to get in the door.
I often get phone calls to my practice from a distressed loved one of a struggling man. Last month I got: “He’s a great guy, he loves his family, he works so hard, he would do anything for anyone. But he won’t just help himself! He’s had some bad things happen to him. Now he’s depressed and started drinking.” On the phone I encouraged this loved one to approach this man in a nonjudgmental and supportive way. I suggested they find something like a marriage, relationship, a child or family that could motivate this struggling man to get in in the door. “If you don’t want to do this for yourself. Do it for the family.” This often engages a guy’s sense of duty and responsibility to something bigger than himself.
I use mindfulness in my practice and I like to think of myself as a helpful guide along your own personal journey. I encourage meditation, journaling, hanging out with nature (Vitamin “N”), and yoga (or tai chi, or karate, or swimming, or biking, or fishing, or hiking…). I use evidenced based cutting edge therapies like EMDR (2). My practice is your place to vent and get things off your chest while maximizing your strengths and giving you tools to make life more livable.
In my growing practice, I have myself and an additional therapist who you can meet with. When you come to our office, you will find a welcoming, private space. We are approachable and we have streamlined the process of starting therapy. During your first appointment you may find it to be one of the few times you are actually, and fully, listened to.
Sometimes it might seem “easier” to just zip your lips and suck it up. It can feel easier at the time to avoid an argument, but those feelings are going somewhere. Most of us men learned a long time ago to lock those feelings up, or to hide them away. Unfortunately, that’s not how humans work. When we suppress our feelings “resentments” will develop and somewhere down the line an argumentative blowout or an episode of self-destruction will follow. This comes in the form of addictions, depression, anxiety or anger. It’s not worth it. When you meet with us we approach therapy in a way that is supportive of men, in a way that can only be done when two men sit down and face life head on. It’s two people tackling problems together.
In my practice, I am always impressed and honored when a man decides to get in the door and work to live the life they want. In our own personal lives, we know that it works because we’ve seen it time and time again. Let me emphasize the confidential nature of our conversations. You can even try it without telling a soul if you want to. Schedule for right after work or on a lunch break. Try it a few times and if it doesn’t work, close the door. But, to find out, you need to open it first. Come on in. We’re ready for you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Rodgers Counseling at 720-295-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.